Family of 84-year-old reverend believes he was attacked after going missing during morning walk

Rosie Nguyen Image
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
84-year-old missing during walk turns up 8 miles away in hospital
Hospital staff told the family that a good Samaritan dropped him off without leaving any information about who they are, how they found him, or what they might know.

PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- A southeast Houston family is searching for answers after a beloved 84-year-old reverend went missing last Tuesday during his morning walk and was later found at a hospital in Pearland.

Arnetta Murray describes her elderly father, Rev. James Hicks, as a staple in the community. She said he served more than 20 years as a pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in Houston's Third Ward.

Murray told ABC13 she never thought she would be concerned about her dad's safety in his own neighborhood. The council member for the City of Iowa Colony said he never returned after walking to the store around 10 a.m. on Nov. 15.

"It's unacceptable. It's unbelievable. Nobody has no answers. No clue. No nothing. That's scary," she said.

It was after Murray made a post on social media that someone tipped her off that he was admitted to Memorial Hermann Pearland, nearly eight miles away from home.

She told ABC13 that because her father has dementia, all he could say about what happened is that he fell. But her family believes someone attacked him along the way, possibly trying to rob him as he was wearing a business suit at the time.

"His eye was so big. It's like somebody just was beating him in his eye. Then he had this big gash and one side of his face was swollen. It's like somebody just kept beatin' him and beatin' him," she said.

Murray claims all hospital staff could tell her is that a good Samaritan dropped her dad off but didn't leave any information about who they are, how they found him, or what they might know.

Now, her family is desperately pleading for anyone who might have information to please come forward.

"I think all of us should be on more of an elderly alert from now on. I don't want my dad to stop living his life. But I don't want him to be attacked either," she said. "They didn't care. They saw a man walking down the street and they attacked my 84-year-old dad without any type of compassion."

Murray has filed a police report with the Houston Police Department. She will join other community members and leaders for a press conference and rally at Crescent Park on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

CORRECTION: We previously reported that a police report was filed with the Pearland Police Department. The correct agency is Houston Police Department.

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